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Farm machinery boost.

Agricultural and outdoor machinery industries in the UK earned a record balance of trade of pounds 1 billion in 1998, an improvement of 25.7 per cent on the previous year.

The total value of exports fell just 0.5 per cent to pounds 1.62 million, said the Agricultural Engineers Association.

This figure could be regarded as a particularly favourable performance, given the on-going strength of sterling at a time when there were strong recessionary forces in several parts of the world, it said.

The value of imports fell 25.3 per cent, which reflected the reduction of the domestic market following a significant fall in UK farm incomes. A net result of static exports and falling imports saw the balance of trade grow to record levels.

Within the total, the greatest contribution came from the tractor sector, which regularly featured as one of the UK's top net exporting industries.

The association said: "At the same time as applauding these results, we must record these are unlikely to be repeated in 1999 as we expect a distinct downturn in many overseas markets."
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 8, 1999
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